TEEN TALK: Do High School Relationships Really Matter?

Miranda Kubilus, Staff Reporter

A person’s teen years are some of their most formative years. They learn how to become independent and form their own opinions about the world. In addition to this, people develop some of their most important friendships during these years. The relationships a person has while they are a teenager can teach them what they do and don’t want from their friends and show them how they should or shouldn’t be treated by people that care about them. Not just with platonic friendships, but also in romantic relationships.

High school relationships can be both beneficial and detrimental in their own ways. On one hand, relationships can provide support systems for people who don’t have large or good support systems in their life. On the other, serious relationships that are abusive or filled with drama can seriously harm someone’s mental health and school career, both of which are important parts of a teen’s life. Junior Madison Mcglone was torn on the idea. “It depends on who you are with and the connection and trust… if you work well together then of course it’s beneficial… but if the relationship has no trust and is drama filled then I’d say it’s problematic,” she said.

Another student, junior Isabella Ferrer, also had conflicting ideas but leaned more toward the problematic side. “Being in a serious relationship can cause stress and be too much responsibility [for a high schooler],” she said.

Regardless of whether or not serious romantic relationships help or hinder a teen, it is common knowledge that forming meaningful friendships are crucial to one’s development as a person. However, it is much more debatable whether or not even casual romance among teens is good for their development. A review of studies conducted by the RAND Labor and Population Corporation suggested that adolescent romantic experiences set the stage for the formation of stable relationships in young adulthood and that forming intimate relationships outside of family is a crucial step of developing ones’ independent identity. In speaking with people about this topic, Isabella said that though she felt serious relationships had the potential to be problematic, she also thought they were important, “Dating in high school] can show you what you want in life and who you really are,” she explained.

Madison was also more on the fence with this one.  “I think it’s important to experience and talk to people if you have a connection with them, you learn… what you like and don’t like in someone, this helps you find what type of partner would fit you. With this though can come a lot of stress and heartache.”

All in all, while high school relationships can hurt someone just as much as they can help, these relationships are important in developing lasting and healthy future relationships. The key component in making these experiences good is compatibility and trust, as is with any relationship. These relationships, however, good or bad, can have more effect on a someone’s development as a person, being that they take place during such formative years and lay the foundation for future relationships.